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How to Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor with Macs & Windows

Boost your productivity by using iPad as a second monitor with your Mac or Windows PC/laptop.

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Apple iPad Pro M2 with 4K monitor

Using your iPad as a secondary monitor can boost your productivity by providing extra screen real estate for multitasking. Windows users can use the paid app “Duet Display” to enable second-screen functionality for iPads while Mac users can use the built-in Sidecar functionality to use their iPad as a second screen. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to use your iPad as a second monitor for both Mac and Windows computers. 

How to use iPad as second monitor: Quick Overview

  • To use your iPad as a second display for your Mac, go to System Preferences > Sidecar > Select Device > Choose your iPad. Next, open Sidecar menu again and choose your iPad’s role as Use As Separate Display
  • For using iPad as a second monitor on Windows, you will need to install third-party apps like Duet Display

How To Use Your iPad as a second monitor with Mac

Sidecar allows you to use your iPad as a second display for your Mac desktop, either as an extension or a mirror. 

Step 1: Understanding Sidecar

Apple introduced a feature called Sidecar in the macOS Catalina (10.15) and later versions.

Sidecar is a feature that allows you to mirror your Mac’s screen on your iPad, which is useful for sharing content and making presentations. If your Mac has a Touch Bar, Sidecar can duplicate its functions on the iPad.

Step 2: Sidecar System Requirements

Before moving ahead, check if your iPad and Mac meet Sidecar system requirements.

OS: macOS Catalina or later

  • MacBook Pro  in 2016 or later
  • MacBook  in 2016 or later
  • MacBook Air 2018 or later
  • iMac 2017 or later, or iMac (Late 2015)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac mini 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro 2019 or later
  • Mac Studio 2022 or later

OS: iPadOS 13 or later

  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad (6th gen or later) 
  • iPad mini (5th gen or later) 
  • iPad Air (3rd gen or later)

In addition, both your Mac and iPad must have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on to establish a connection.

Step 3: Connect your iPad and Mac

  1. Check Compatibility: From the list above, check that your iPad and MacBook are compatible with Sidecar. 
  2. Sign in with the Same Apple ID: Check that your MacBook and iPad are signed in with the same Apple ID. This is important for Sidecar to work.
  3. Enable Bluetooth and Connect to Wi-Fi: On both your MacBook and iPad, turn on Bluetooth and connect to the same Wi-Fi network. 
  4. Configure Handoff on Your iPad: Open the Settings app on your iPad, and under General, tap on “Handoff.” Make sure Handoff is enabled. This feature allows for smoother communication between your devices.
  5. Enable Screen Mirroring on Your MacBook: On your MacBook, go to the top-right corner of the screen. Click on the Control Center icon (it looks like a square with an arrow pointing up). From there, find and enable “Screen Mirroring.” Your iPad should appear in the list of available devices.
  6. Select Display Mode: Once your iPad is connected, you’ll have the option to choose how you want to use it as a monitor. You can either extend your MacBook’s display (which gives you extra screen real estate) or mirror the MacBook’s screen on your iPad (where both screens show the same content). Choose the option that suits your needs.
  7. Arrange Display Settings (Optional): If you want to position your iPad on a specific side of your MacBook (top, left, or right), you can customize this arrangement. Go to the display settings on your MacBook under “Settings,” and arrange the iPad’s position according to your preference.
  8. Make Most of Your Portable External Monitor: That’s it! Your iPad is now functioning as an external monitor for your Mac. You can use it just like any other monitor, making it a versatile and portable addition to your workflow.

Also Read: How to connect an external monitor to iPad

How to use Sidecar on macOS and iPadOS

By following this guide, you can easily set up and use your iPad as a second monitor for your Mac using the Sidecar feature, enhancing your productivity and multitasking capabilities.

Moving a Mac Window to Your iPad

To move a Mac window to your iPad screen, click and hold the window’s green “maximize” button, and then choose the option “move to iPad” from the options. To return a window to your Mac, hover your cursor over the full-screen option and select “Move Window Back to Mac.”

If you want to display your Mac screen on your iPad instead of extending your desktop, you can use mirroring. 

  • In macOS Monterey or later, select a mirroring option from the Screen Mirroring menu in the menu bar. 
  • In macOS Big Sur, choose a mirroring option from the Display menu in the Control Center or the menu bar. 
  • For macOS Catalina, select a mirroring option from the AirPlay menu in the menu bar.

The sidebar on your iPad screen provides commonly used Mac controls, including Command and Shift keys, allowing you to choose essential commands using your finger or Apple Pencil instead of a keyboard.

How To use iPad as a second monitor with Windows

Follow the steps below to use your iPad as a second monitor with Windows PCs.

  1. On your iPad, open the App Store, and search for Duet Display. Download and install the app. Please note that Duet Display is a subscription-based paid app that costs around $24/month.
  2. Once you have downloaded the Duet app on your iPad, go ahead and install it on your Windows PC or laptop as well. Follow the installation instructions provided on the screen and complete the setup.
  3. Now, connect your iPad to your Windows PC or laptop via lightning or USB-C cable and open the Duet Display app on both the devices.
  4. You can adjust the quality settings on the Duet companion app on your Windows PC or laptop to improve graphics and refresh rates. To disconnect the display, simply close the Duet app on your iPad. You’re all done!


We hope this guide helps you in learning how to use your iPad as a second monitor. Turning your iPad into a second monitor is a great way to boost productivity. By following the steps outlined in this guide and using the tips and tricks, you can create a dual-screen workspace with ease.

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